Online NP Programs in Ohio

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By Janice Monti

Last Updated: February 2020





The increase in an aging population and the rise in chronic conditions continue to drive the expansion of healthcare occupations across the United States. As the healthcare industry meets these challenges by moving into team-based models and other approaches to patient care, employment of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) continues to grow. Nurse practitioners (NPs), RNs who hold graduate degrees in advanced practice nursing, play an important role in providing a broad range of services to specialized patient populations.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the demand for NPs in Ohio to grow by almost 30% from 2016-26. Currently, the state ranks fifth in the nation for NP employment. Becoming an NP requires several steps. This guide provides an introduction to NP programs in Ohio, certification and licensure requirements, and career and salary information.


Online Nurse Practitioner Programs Based in Ohio

Applicants to NP programs in OH must hold bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degrees and RN licenses. Students interested in online NP programs should thoroughly research degree formats. Programs may require on-campus residencies and hybrid courses.

A master of science (MSN) degree generally requires two years of full-time enrollment, while a doctorate in nursing practice (DNP) may take three or more years, depending on the student's level of nursing education. Admission requirements vary by program but commonly include:

  • GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Valid RN license
  • Official transcripts
  • Personal statement
  • In-person or online interview
  • Criminal background check
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Work experience

Some programs require applicants to submit GRE or MAT scores, and, for non-native speakers of English, TOEFL or IELTS scores.

Although curriculum requirements differ considerably by school and degree level, NP students typically take core courses in physiology, pharmacology, and health assessment, followed by advanced specialization training and 500-1,000 hours of supervised clinical experience. The most common specializations include adult-gerontology, pediatrics, family care, women's health, neonatal care, and psychiatric-mental health.

The most common specializations include adult-gerontology, pediatrics, family care, women's health, neonatal care, and psychiatric-mental health.

While MSN and DNP degrees prepare graduates for APRN careers, DNP programs provide additional training in leadership, evidence-based practice, information systems, and healthcare policy. An MSN qualifies as the minimum education requirement for certification in Ohio. However, several nursing organizations, including the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, have called for adopting the DNP as the preferred certification credential for APRNs.



Complete List of Online Nurse Practitioner Programs in Ohio

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Ohio Nurse Practitioner Career Information

Although job growth for NPs in Ohio falls below the national average, NPs can expect to find positions in several practice settings. According to the Ohio Board of Nursing, inpatient and outpatient hospital settings employ most of the state's APRNs, followed by medical clinics in physician solo practice, physician partnerships, or single-specialty groups.

With 22% of Ohio's APRN workforce over the age of 55, expected retirements in the next decade will affect the demand for NPs. The majority of Ohio's NPs hold specializations in family, general practice, and primary care practice areas, reflecting the demand in these areas.

NPs rank among the highest-paid nurses. While four of the seven states highlighted in this table offer higher annual salaries, the average salary for NPs in Ohio remains above six figures.

Nurse Practitioner Salary and Projected Job Growth in Ohio and Nearby States
  Salary Job Growth
U.S. $110,030 36.1%
Ohio $101,970 29.7%
Michigan $106,880 34.4%
Indiana $103,200 38.7%
Kentucky $99,790 32.8%
Virginia $105,170 43.7%
Pennsylvania $98,250 30.5%
New York $120,970 41.6%

Source: BLS, Projections Central



Licensure for Nurse Practitioners in Ohio

After earning an undergraduate degree and obtaining their RN license, each aspiring NP typically completes at least a year of work experience. After fulfilling these prerequisites, they apply to an MSN or DNP program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. As part of their graduate degree program, NP students choose specializations that lead to national certification.

Because educational and clinical hour requirements vary by specialization, prospective NPs should check with the national certification agency that authorizes their specialization and the Ohio State Board of Nursing. The state board provides a list of approved national certification agencies. After NPs complete the certification exam and other requirements, the national agency sends the documentation approving certification to the Ohio State Board.

NP candidates must establish a collaborative supervision agreement with a physician within 30 days of starting their practice.

In addition to national certification in their specialty, NPs must apply for state certification directly to the board. While Ohio permits applicants to apply for state certification before finishing their degrees and national certification tests, they must finalize their applications within a year. The application requires official transcripts, a criminal background check, and a $100 application fee. NP candidates must establish a collaborative supervision agreement with a physician within 30 days of starting their practice.

Once approved, professionals in Ohio must renew their licenses biennially. NPs must also recertify their specialization periodically through the authorizing agency.


Other Requirements for Ohio Nurse Practitioners

Scope of practice, which determines the services NPs can perform, varies considerably from state to state. While many states grant NPs full authority to engage in all elements of NP practice, Ohio is a reduced practice state. Ohio NPs currently must enter into a collaborative standard care agreement with a supervising physician to practice.

The scope of practice for Ohio's NPs also depends on their certifications. Ohio recognizes national certifications in families and individuals across the lifespan, acute and primary adult-gerontology, pediatrics, women's health, and psychiatric mental health specializations.

License renewal in Ohio requires each NP to complete 48 hours of approved continuing education units every two years, including 12 hours in pharmacology.

NPs who seek prescriptive authority in Ohio must meet additional requirements beyond those established for state certification, including a specialization-related advanced pharmacology course that includes at least 45 contact hours.

NPs in Ohio may hold prescriptive authority without physician supervision. APRNs registered with the Drug Enforcement Agency may prescribe schedule II medications in some healthcare settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, assisted care facilities, and federally qualified health centers.

License renewal in Ohio requires each NP to complete 48 hours of approved continuing education units every two years, including 12 hours in pharmacology. NPs must also maintain their national certifications according to their specialization requirements.

Information for Out-Of-State Nurse Practitioners

Ohio does not participate in the nurse licensure compact (NLC), which allows mutual recognition of nursing licenses between NLC member states. However, out-of-state NPs planning to relocate to Ohio may apply for licensure by endorsement by submitting an endorsement application and a criminal background check. This process allows applicants who possess valid licenses in other jurisdictions to receive temporary licenses and begin working as NPs in Ohio.

Regulations governing the authority to prescribe medication, controlled substances, and therapeutic devices differ widely by state. Prescriptive authority in Ohio generally requires additional training, so NPs from other jurisdictions will have to submit out-of-state prescriptive authority applications to the Ohio state board. Depending on their prescribing experience, these NPs may need to complete a course in state laws and an externship on controlled substances.


Resources for Ohio Nurse Practitioners

  • Ohio Association of Advanced Practice Nurses OAAPN promotes affordable and high-quality healthcare for Ohioans through its support of the APRN profession. The association monitors legislation affecting APRNs and offers opportunities in continuing education, conferencing, and networking.
  • Northeast Ohio Nurse Practitioners This networking association for NPs in Northern Ohio offers its members professional development opportunities, peer support and mentoring, awards, and scholarships. NEONP maintains an employment center with job openings in Ohio and the Midwest.
  • Ohio Board of Nursing This state government agency administers licensing, certification, and continuing education for RNs, licensed practical nurses, APRNs, and other healthcare providers working or seeking to work in Ohio.
  • Ohio Nurses Association ONA represents the interests of over 170,000 RNs in Ohio. The association monitors legislation affecting the state's RNs, offers a job bank through the ONA career center, and regularly sponsors continuing education opportunities.
  • Ohio Chapter of the National Association for Pediatric Nurse Practitioners This state chapter of NAPNAP supports the work of Ohio's pediatric nurse practitioners to improve the quality of healthcare for infants, children, and adolescents. The association sponsors conferences, research and service grants, scholarships, and special recognition awards.


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NursePractitionerSchools.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.